[sf-lug] distro advice, please

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Nov 19 18:14:55 PST 2007

To be a little more explicit:

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):
> On Nov 19, 2007 2:22 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> > I hope you know how to disable startup processes.
> kill [PID]

That kills the running instance (possibly needing the -9 flag, depending),
but doesn't prevent it starting up again.  Let's say you install some
distro onto a machine, and notice after installation that its
auto-running processes include:

RPC portmapper
smbd (part of Samba)
nmbd (part of Samba)
nscd (name service caching daemon)

So, you kill them, regaining the RAM and lowering the machine's security
profile, and call it a day.  The next day, someone has had occasion to
restart the machine, and they're running again.

Oops!  You killed the running instances, but did nothing about the fact
that they're configured to auto-start at boot time.

For a basic understanding of how the traditional System V "init"
system[1] in Linux distributions auto-starts and -stops process, read
the first three sections in chapter 9 (init) of the Linux Documentation
Project's _System Administator's Guide_ (affectionately known as "SAG").

(Read sections 9.1, 9.2, 9.3.)

[1] The only distro I know that's so far gone away from the traditional
Unix SystemV init is Ubuntu 6.10 and later (and thus Kubuntu, Xubuntu,
etc.), which as adopted an event-based init service called "Upstart":

Two Linux distributions, Arch Linux and Slackware, default to using
BSD-style inits, instead (or did when last I checked).

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